Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

So I live in a neighborhood of about 31 lots. The current builder has built and sold about 20 of these 31 lots. All homes are currently being lived in and have for over a year. Because 80% of the lots have not been sold, the Builder of our homes, acts as the Home Owners Association. Anyways, about a month ago, there were for sale signs on all the lots that have not yet been built on. Come to find out, our current builder sold these to a very cheaper builder, and they plan on building 260.000. homes, in a neighborhood were everyone had spent over 430,000. Does our builder have a conflict of interest being the owners of the property and the Home Owners Assoc.? They never even came to us telling us anything about what was taking place. Do we have a leg to stand on, or are we just out of luck. Any help and direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Mr. Weber

Asked on 8/21/09, 12:45 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

P. Jayson Thibodaux Law Office of P. Jayson Thibodaux
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I can address a few issues. The covenants, declaration, and HOA rules may provide insight. Even if the lots are sold, it is likely that the new owners are subject to the same restrictions as your home. Your question is difficult to answer without having more specifics.

Is there a recorded covenant and declaration binding the purchaser of the lots?

What do you anticipate as the difference between a 400k and 300k home?

Are there any restrictions on the appearance or size of the home, or requirement in regards to type in your documents?

Will the new builder keep with the same common scheme?

As to control of the HOA, there typically is a provision allowing the developer to retain HOA control provided they own a certain percentage of the homes/lots during development of the property. A good question is whether the sale you mention in your question reduces this percentage, possibly the developer will no longer have control of the HOA. You may want to demand an HOA meeting and request that the HOA be turned over. You could explore what can be done in regards to the proposed homes.

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8/26/09, 1:56 am

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